Abta urges members to invite MPs into their businesses

Abta is encouraging members to invite their MPs into their businesses to help them understand the challenges they face.

The awareness drive comes ahead of a parliamentary debate on travel planned for June 10.

To make the process easier, Abta has created template emails, a briefing note and a concise infographic on the economic realities faced by the trade as a result of the pandemic on its website. Travel agents and tour operators can use these to contact their MP and encourage them to join next week’s debate.

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To further hammer home the message, members are urged to invite MPs to visit their businesses so they can set out the specific problems they have faced in the last 15 months and emonstrate the important role they play on the high street.

MPs can help make a case to government on the value of the industry and need for sector support at next week’s debate, said Abta.

The association is also conducting a poll to collate additional evidence from members ahead of chief executive Mark Tanzer appearing at the Treasury Select Committee.

The survey looks at what access members have had to support schemes and their current challenges and will build on recent feedback from members on ongoing issues in the trade.

Luke Petherbridge, director of public affairs at Abta – The Travel Association, said: “It’s really important we encourage as many MPs as possible to attend the debate in June and speak up for the industry.

“There is strong support for the sector among many parliamentarians, but we need to keep up the pressure on government to act to save the travel industry.

“Inviting your local MP to come into your shop can also be a powerful and extremely effective way of demonstrating the vital role you play in your community and that travel needs the same kind of support that the government has been happy to give to other industries.”

Petherbridge said Abta was “doing all we can” to raise awareness of the industry’s plight among MPs and the industry’s main asks, which include extending employment support and business rates relief and making available recovery grants for travel businesses.

He added: “We will also make clear the need for ministers to focus on aiding the recovery of international travel ahead of the upcoming reviews into the traffic-light system, opening up more countries to the green-list where health data allows.

“They should also give serious consideration to relaxing restrictions for travel between low-risk countries and for fully vaccinated individuals. As the summer progresses this will increasingly be the case in many of our most popular overseas destinations and would represent another clear, significant benefit of the successful vaccine roll out in the UK enabling many more to take a much needed and affordable break.”

Abta members who want to take part in the poll can find the information here

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